The History of Toilets-W.C

We each spend three years of our lives on the toilet, but how happy are we talking about this essential part of our lives? This film challenges that mindset by uncovering its role in our culture and exploring the social history of the toilet in Britain and abroad – as well as exploring many of our cultural toilet taboos.

Starting in Merida, Spain with some of the the earliest surviving Roman toilets, we journey around the world – from the UK to China, Japan and Bangladesh – visiting toilets, ranging from the historically significant to the beautiful, from the functional and sometimes not-so-functional to the downright bizarre.

Leading our journey is Everyman figure, Welsh poet and presenter Ifor ap Glyn, who has a passionate interest in the toilet, its history and how it has evolved over the centuries, right up to the development of the current design. Finally, there’s a glimpse of the future and a possible solution to the global sanitation issues we now face.

toilet wc installation

Since 1971, the Office for National Statistics has been asking thousands of Britons about their lives. The General Household Survey shows the Britain of the 1970s was a very different country to 2011 (the latest results we have). Here are 10 ways things have changed.
Outside toilet One in 10 had outside toilets 40 years ago

1. Toilets have had an upgrade.”Do you have a flush toilet?” was asked in the first survey. Most had a toilet but a significant minority had to take their business outside – 10.3% had an outdoor toilet and 1.2% had none at all. Luckily, times have changed. In 2011, toilets were still a talking point, but the question presupposed the use of an indoor toilet. “Do you have an inside flushing toilet for sole use of the household?” was the question. Nearly 100% of households said yes – 99.7% – while 0.2% said they had shared use. Only 0.1% don’t have an indoor flushing toilet.

Kitchen Fitters & Bathroom Installers

Hot running water was not a foregone conclusion.

The 1971 survey considered how many households had a bath in the property. A sign of the times is that showers were not considered. The 1971 survey found that 9% of people did not have a bath (91% did). As with toilets, nearly 100% of households have either a bath or a shower now.

Washing machines too. Nearly everyone has one today. But in 1972 laundrettes still had a large potential customer base – 34% of people did not have a washing machine. Today just 4% do not have one.

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